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  • Linguistics

    This morning I was once again at my exercise class.  As we were having our all important cuppa afterwards, one of the women commented that something was a 'Campsie cut' - an expression which evidently means something like a "pig's ear" or a "dog's breakfast" or a "bodge job."  After this she seemed to feel the need to say to me "do you know what 'xyz' means" to almost every sentence.

    The Census Scotland form asks if you understand, read or write English, Scots and Gaelic.  The middle of these is proving controversial, some people saying it's a language, others saying it's a dialect and still others saying it's just slang.

    It did get me wondering just where dialect/idiom stops and language begins.  There are some very localised English dialects such as those in parts of Yorkshire or Cumbria, and idiom varies dramatically... it is quite telling that my own mother says that on the phone she distinguishes between my sister and myself on the basis of idiom rather than accent.

    Just to note that only one person in the class, apart from the user, knew the expression Campsie cut, and all of them were Glaswegians.  As to why she asusumed I wouldn't know what 'gallivant' meant, I am at a loss, but I promise not to get mardy (Midlands) or nowty (NW England) about it!!

    You can check here if you need to translate my idiom

  • NICE Fox

    Today as I was standing outside the hopsital taking in the morning air I saw my friendly fox, last seen on 17th September last year who was, if Tim P's comment was to be taken appropriately seriously, NICE approved, even if NICE doesn't carry so much weight up here.

    A very quick visit to the radiotherapy department to be scanned and tattooed - three tiny pin-prick marks - and then out in to what was by then a lovely morning.

    It was good to see the fox again, and better to realise how far I've come since the first encounter.

    Now I'm planning to get out for a walk and enjoy the fine weather before it disappears south for the weekend.

  • Don't Tell the Pharisees...

    ... tomorrow I will breach Leviticus 19:28b but all in the interests of medical treatment!

    "You shall not make... any tattoo marks upon you."

    Ach weel.

    I'm sure the NHS tattooist will be very spiritual!!!  Rather that than they nuke the wrong bit.

    (Actually if I wanted to be very literal I'm not breaching the command as I won't be self-tattooing...)

    Just please tell me no one refuses radiotherapy on these grounds (cf those who refuse blood transfusions).

  • Matthew Henry on Matthew 12

    Today's PAYG centred on Matthew 12: 15-21, with its links to Isaiah 42.  As has become my practice recently, after listening I looked up the passage in the NRSV (which they use) with Esword (a free Bible software programme for which you can purchase additional translations, such as NRSV, at very reasonable prices).  The way I have it set up, Matthew Henry's commentary appears to the right of the text, and it is always intriguing to read what he wrote so long ago.

    Here's what he said on this passage (emphasis mine)...

    The Pharisees took counsel to find some accusation, that Jesus might be condemned to death. Aware of their design, as his time was not come, he retired from that place. Face does not more exactly answer to face in water, than the character of Christ drawn by the prophet, to his temper and conduct as described by the evangelists. Let us with cheerful confidence commit our souls to so kind and faithful a Friend. Far from breaking, he will strengthen the bruised reed; far from quenching the smoking flax, or wick nearly out, he will rather blow it up into a flame. Let us lay aside contentious and angry debates; let us receive one another as Christ receives us. And while encouraged by the gracious kindness of our Lord, we should pray that his Spirit may rest upon us, and make us able to copy his example.

    When the church is so full of angry and contentionus debates over what most would agree are 'secondary' issues, it seems Matthew Henry has a 'word in season.'

    If, instead of arguing over then gender or sexuality of clergy, we were doing what Jesus did I can't help feeling the church would be in better health.  Of course opinions will vary, and people will go on using the Bible to 'proof text' their views, but a bit of 'servant' gentleness and Christlike welcome seems a good paln to me.

  • Beau lines and Nail Polish

    Beau lines are white, sometimes ridged, lines that run horizontally across finger/toe nails that have suffered damage within the nail bed, for example due to chemotherapy.  As my nails recover and return to their old incredibly fast growth rate, I notice the Beau lines moving higher and the 'through the way' splits between layers at the finger tip end of nail.  I fear that once the lines near the top my nails may break off as the tranverse and laminar splits experience too much stress.  So it's back to nail varnish... but clear this time as it's just acting as glue.

    My nails are a sight to behold!  The FEC induced discolouration means the tops are like smokers nails whilst the Docetaxel damage means the Beau lines coincide with slight flakiness.  Within a couple of months my finger nails will probably be back to normal but for my big toes, with large nails and slower growth, it could be a year.

    I like the irony that these lines, named after the scientist who first observed/studied them, have a name that means beautiful.